As one of the seven (7) awardees &/or implementers of EU ASEP-CfP, the People in Need Philippines (PIN), together with its partner Entrepreneurs du Monde, benchmarked SOLARES & ASEP-PVM Window 1 projects (under SOCOTECO II) on 3 February 2020 for a learning exchanges on project operations, financial and procurement, especially approaches to off-grid lighting solutions and livelihood support (RE or agri-based).
Upon coordination with SOCOTECO II, PVM-W1 Site Sitio New Antique was the area being visited. Along with 4 other colleagues, Mr. Diosdado Mendoza, PIN Project Manager, visited and interviewed several beneficiaries of the Window 1 PVM Site. SOCOTECO II and SOLARES project team assisted the PIN team to the site.
Ms. Khristin Hunter, Mr. Karol Skalowski, and Mr. Mendoza took turns interviewing the residents of New Antique regarding their experience with the Solar Home System (SHS) Units of the Window 1 PVM. A few residents welcomed the team into their home and shared about using the unit for 2 years. They were thankful and noticed how they could use power for 24 hours compared to using kerosene, and mentioned their children could study and do homework in the evening. New Antique sitio leader also shared the differences in experiences and preferences of residents. She herself used personal solar equipment for power like others; she did not answer on behalf of the community, instead recognized it was up to the residents whether they wanted to avail. She added if there were another project that would open to avail SHS units, she is positive there would some who would request to be included.
The PIN team went around the sitio before proceeding to another venue for a brief exchange of experience over coffee and snacks. Ms. Hunter and Mr. Skalowski gave their questions to SOCOTECO II, Mr. John Tindoy and Mr. Angelico Boiser. Their queries revolved around the system and process used by SOCOTECO II other queries related to their line of work and experience.
For the livelihood component of the project, Mr. Mendoza, Ms. Hunter, and Mr. Skalowski openly asked regarding the arrangement between the project and Peace and Equity Foundation from Mr. Stefan Babera, PEF project officer. Mr. Babera shared the process of how PEF assisted microfinance institutions, people organizations, and associations included in SOLARES.
The exchange continued at General Santos City wherein Mr. Jobe Tubigon, SOLARES project manager properly introduced the SOLARES project to PIN, along with Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, project director, and Ms. Liza Hora, admin and finance officer. The PIN team was able to expand their queries on specifics on the project, such as database, process of data collection, electric coops participation, sustainability, co-financing, beneficiaries, and updates on SOLARES.
The PIN team expressed their gratitude towards SOLARES project staff and Mahintana Foundation, Inc., for the learning experience and prompt, useful advice for their approach to the REACH project.
Other than their visit with the SOLARES & SOCOTECO II Projects, PIN is set to visit DASURECO’s franchise areas in Brgy. Baluntaya, Don Marcelino and Brgy. Little Baguio, Malita, Davao Occidental for the Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) technologies.